Note: Cruise lines (including Carnival) are starting to announce their 2018 special deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We expect to hear more about them leading up to Thanksgiving. The article below contains all the deals we know about so far. We’ll label updated offers below as we hear more.
Thinking of a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal that’s something better than new electronics? These days everyone gets in on the shopping hype after Thanksgiving, including the cruise lines. So while everyone else is waiting out in the cold for the stores to open up, you can be saving a bundle on a trip to the warm Caribbean from the comfort of your home.
To be completely honest, the Black Friday cruise deals can be hit or miss. Some cruise lines pull out all the stops and offer some incredible deals that make it worth booking immediately. Others offer little discounts or sales that are similar to what’s regularly offered.
Below, we’ve rounded up all the deals we could find for the major cruise lines… as well as our opinion on in it’s a great deal or not.
Norwegian Cruise Lines (2017 Offer)
Norwegian offers the top Black Friday deal we’ve found. Book by the end of day on Friday and you’ll be able to get their “Take 5” deal. The offer includes:
- Ultimate Beverage Package (Free alcohol)
- Specialty Dining Package (Free specialty restaurants)
- 250-Minute Internet Package
- $50 USD Per Port Shore Excursions
- 3rd & 4th Guest Free
Put simply, this deal is stunning. For example, the beverage package alone is worth $79 per person. This gives you a free package for two people the entire duration of your trip. On a week-long cruise that’s a savings of more than $1,000.
Now for the fine print — the offer is only eligible for Oceanview or higher cabins. So it won’t work if you sail interior. And on that drink package you’ll still have to pay gratuity of 18% on the $79 value of the drink package (that’s still all you can drink for about $15 per person). Finally, this deal isn’t lasting long. It’s over after Friday.
Carnival Cruise Lines (Updated 2018 Offer)
Carnival has announced an “Early Saver Exclusive Cyber Offer” that can be found here. Among the savings in this Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal are:
- 20% off Fun Select Rates with Early Saver
- Two category upgrades
- Up to $50 in onboard credit
- $50 reduced deposits
To get the special you’ll need to be a VIFP Club Member (if you’ve sailed Carnival before then you already are). The special deal is for bookings by November 30, 2018 and is available on sailings through April 2021.
Royal Caribbean (2017 Offer)
Like rival cruise line Carnival, Royal Caribbean has been hush-hush on any deals they are offering. However, last year gives us a hint of what to expect.
To be honest, this isn’t as exciting a deal as what is seen from some other cruise lines. We’ll keep an eye on sales to see if 2017 holds something bigger for Black Friday.
2017 Update: Royal Caribbean has announced Black Friday rates of 50% off a second guest and up to $300 in onboard credit. The amount of onboard credit is calculated according to the following schedule:
Interior/Oceanview cabin, 5 nights or less: $50
Balcony cabin, 5 nights or less: $100
Suites, 5 nights or less: $150
Interior/Oceanview cabin, 6 nights or more: $75
Balcony cabin, 6 nights or more: $200
Suites, 6 nights or more: $300
MSC Cruises (2017 Offer)
MSC isn’t as big as some of its rivals, but it is doing Black Friday in a big way. We like that their promotion is simple to understand — book between November 20-29 and you can book a balcony stateroom for the price of an Oceanview cabin. It’s essentially like getting a full upgrade. Considering that balcony rooms can cost hundreds more than an Oceanview cabin, that’s a good deal.
Note that this offer only applies to certain cruises that are one week or longer in length.
Princess Cruises (2017 Offer)
Princess is offering some good specials for the shopping season. The offers breakdown into two categories: Sail Soon — for trips leaving in Spring 2018 and earlier — and Sail Later — for trips leaving Summer 2018 later.
If you select “Sail Soon” then the offer is pretty general. You can save up to $1,000 off of selected sailings. Since cruise lines run sales like this quite often, it’s a little tough to get excited.
However, the “Sail Later” offer has some concrete perks that sound enticing. Book one of these cruises and you’ll receive:
- Free stateroom location upgrade
- Free gratuities (valued at up to $15.50 per guest, per day)
- Free onboard spending money (valued at up to $150 per guest, for all guests)
This deal ends November 29.